Finding a Lost Pet

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 10:15am

More pets are lost on the Fourth of July than any other time of year. It’s a heartbreaking scenario for pet parents, but swift action and major networking can increase the odds that you will be reunited with your cat or dog.

We recently surveyed more than 1,000 households with pets across the country to find out if they had lost a dog or cat in the past five years—and if they did, did they find that pet and where did they look?

Of those pet guardians surveyed, 15 percent had lost a dog or a cat in the past five years, and 85 percent of those lost dogs and cats were recovered.

The study's findings suggest the following are key when recovering a lost pet:

  • Searching immediately when one knows the pet is lost;
  • Searching within the neighborhood first through visual searches as well as posters and online; and
  • Checking local shelters from the first day your pet is lost.

If your pet is lost, it’s important not to panic. Enlist the help of all of your friends and neighbors and hit the streets! Read our extended article on Finding a Lost Pet for more information and helpful hints.

Add new comment




Just a hint about the phone number to put on your dogs tags. I now use my cell phone number so that we can all be out looking for our dogs, and we can receive a call if someone were to find them.
As well, if we find a dog who is lost, we put a sign at the bottom of our driveway that we have found a dog. This way, if the owners are out looking for it, they may see the sign and come in.


I found an online website that will embroider your phone # & pets name on durable reflective collar; also have tags & my baby is chipped:)). She has escaped several times over the years but she always comes back to home within 15 (terrifying for me) minutes:))))


We were in a new town and one of our dogs wandered away before we had an invisible fence installed. I called where's and had him back in hours. On a second move with new child, new schools, etc. The animal hospital he was taken to missed his chip because it had migrated down his shoulder(collar was off for nighttime sleeping). Again, to the rescue.

Barbara Garcia

My cats are indoor cats, but one of them got out a few years ago. I searched all over the neighborhood, calling and looking, but nothing. After 2 days I was really depressed. I got up the next morning and my other cats were surrounding the heater vent in the floor in the family room. I went over & heard a cat. I went outside & looked under the trailer and there he was. I was so happy. The next time one of my cats got out the first place I looked was under the trailer and there she was. This is kind of a long winded way of saying, search under your home. Just because your are calling their name doesn't mean they will come (especially if they are cats) because they may be so freaked out that they just can't respond.

Nancy Hyden Woodward

At the start of your senseless article, you mentioned a lot of animals are lost around the 4th of July. But you did not offer a reason or an explanation. If you had been thoughtful, you would have noted that fireworks are a common event the night of 4 July and that many animals run away from the noise. And if you had thought some more, you would have reminded your readers to remember this for the "next time" and pln ahead to keep your pet secure at home.


Look into a FurCode tag. People can Immediately access your animal's info with a computer or smart phone.

Jill Mucciante

On June 25th, 2012 my parrot flew out our front door. Millie is a 3 month old black capped conure. In order to locate her, I brought one of my other parrots out in a cage. Maxwell called for Millie and she responded. But she was too high up in a tree. We tried for hours to get her down but she was just too scared. Then it got dark. June 26th, Maxwell came back outside but no sign of Millie. I posted pictures of Millie on every light post, telephone pole and stop light. I called all the vets and Animal Control. I posted pictures at all the pet stores and Animal Protective League. I walked the neighborhood from 5:30am until 9pm calling for Millie. I put an ad in the newspaper. And I PRAYED!! June 27th, I woked up and said "This is the day I find Millie." As the day wore on, things looked hopeless. Around 3pm, the phone rang. A lady said, "I think I found your bird, I know I found your bird." Millie had flown into their garage and landed on the lady's head. They caught her and they had seen my posters!! Millie is back home safe and sound! Two things that conntributed to her safe return was my posters and PRAYING! It worked!


in this day and age it seems that GPS tracking chip could be embedded in with the ID chip. Sort of like Lojack for pets.


They have GPS for collars, but I wonder if they emit a sound that would bother the dog.

I lost my parakeet 1 died 2 flew away but I know they need a life to their own :')